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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Shegagot - Perek 12, Shegagot - Perek 13, Shegagot - Perek 14

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Shegagot - Perek 12

1

The following rule applies with regard to every transgression for which an individual is obligated to bring a fixed sin-offering. If the High Court inadvertently erred in their ruling and ruled that a forbidden substance is permitted and as a result of their ruling, the people erred inadvertently and acted in transgression of the prohibition, while relying on the ruling of the court, and afterwards, the court discovered that they had erred, the court is obligated to bring a sin-offering for their erroneous ruling. Even if the judges themselves did not perform a deed in violation of the prohibition, they must bring this sacrifice. For we do not consider the deeds of the judges at all, what they did or did not do, only their ruling. The remainder of the people are exempt from bringing a sacrifice as individuals, even though they performed the transgression, because they relied on the court.

Which sacrifice do they bring for this erroneous ruling? If their erroneous ruling concerned the worship of false deities, they must bring a bull as a burnt-offering and a goat as a sin-offering from every tribe. This is the sacrifice referred to in Parshat Shelach Lecha, which states Numbers 15:24: "If due to the seers of the congregation, a transgression was erroneously violated...." According to the Oral Tradition, it was taught that this is referring to an erroneous ruling concerning the worship of false deities.

If they ruled erroneously with regard to other transgressions punishable by karet for which a fixed sin-offering is brought for their inadvertent violation, every tribe must bring a bull as a sin-offering. This sacrifice is mentioned in Parshat Vayikra which states Leviticus 4:3: "If the entire congregation of Israel shall inadvertently err...."

Thus we have learned that if the High Court rules erroneously with regard to the worship of false deities, the entire congregation bring twelve bulls as burnt-offerings and twelve goats as sin-offerings. They are burnt, because their blood is taken into the inner chamber. They are called the goats offered because of the worship of false deities.

If they ruled erroneously with regard to other mitzvot, they bring twelve bulls as sin-offerings and they are burnt, because their blood is taken into the inner chamber. Each one of the bulls is called a bull brought due to a lapse of awareness by the congregation, as ibid.:14 states: "And the congregation shall offer...," i.e., every congregation. Every tribe is referred to as a congregation, as II Chronicles 20:5 states: "And Yehoshefat stood in the congregation of Judah."

A bull is brought for every tribe - and for the worship of false deities, a bull and a goat are brought for every tribe whether the entire Jewish people in Eretz Yisrael transgressed because of the ruling of the court, the majority of the Jewish people transgressed even though they comprised only a lesser portion of the tribes, or the majority of the tribes transgressed, even though they comprise a lesser portion of the entire Jewish people. Even those tribes who did not transgress bring because of the transgressors. Even if only one tribe transgressed, but it constituted the majority of the congregation, the entire congregation bring twelve bulls, and for the worship of false deities, twelve bulls and twelve goats.

א

כָּל דָּבָר שֶׁחַיָּבִין עַל שִׁגְגָתוֹ חַטָּאת קְבוּעָה אִם שָׁגְגוּ בֵּית דִּין הַגָּדוֹל בְּהוֹרָאָה וְהוֹרוּ לְהַתִּירוֹ וְשָׁגְגוּ הָעָם בְּהוֹרָאָתָן וְעָשׂוּ הָעָם וְהֵם סוֹמְכִין עַל הוֹרָאָתָן וְאַחַר כָּךְ נוֹדַע לְבֵית דִּין שֶׁטָּעוּ הֲרֵי בֵּית דִּין חַיָּבִין לְהָבִיא קָרְבַּן חַטָּאת עַל שִׁגְגָתָן בְּהוֹרָאָה וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא עָשׂוּ הֵן בְּעַצְמָן מַעֲשֶׂה שֶׁאֵין מַשְׁגִּיחִין עַל עֲשִׂיַּת בֵּית דִּין כְּלָל בֵּין עָשׂוּ בֵּין לֹא עָשׂוּ אֶלָּא עַל הוֹרָאָתָן בִּלְבַד. וּשְׁאָר הָעָם פְּטוּרִין מִן הַקָּרְבָּן וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵם הָעוֹשִׂין מִפְּנֵי שֶׁתָּלוּ בְּבֵית דִּין. וּמַה הוּא הַקָּרְבָּן שֶׁמְּבִיאִין עַל שְׁגָגָה זוֹ. אִם בַּעֲבוֹדָה זָרָה שָׁגְגוּ וְהוֹרוּ מְבִיאִין פַּר לְעוֹלָה וְשָׂעִיר לְחַטָּאת מִכָּל שֵׁבֶט וְשֵׁבֶט וְקָרְבָּן זֶה הוּא הָאָמוּר בְּפָרָשַׁת שְׁלַח לְךָ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר טו כד) "וְהָיָה אִם מֵעֵינֵי הָעֵדָה נֶעֶשְׂתָה לִשְׁגָגָה" מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לָמְדוּ שֶׁבְּשִׁגְגַת עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה הוּא מְדַבֵּר. וְאִם בִּשְׁאָר כְּרֵתוֹת שֶׁחַיָּבִין עַל שִׁגְגָתָן חַטָּאת קְבוּעָה שָׁגְגוּ וְהוֹרוּ. מֵבִיא כָּל שֵׁבֶט וְשֵׁבֶט פַּר חַטָּאת וְזֶהוּ הָאָמוּר בְּפָרָשַׁת וַיִּקְרָא שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ד יג) "וְאִם כָּל עֲדַת יִשְׂרָאֵל יִשְׁגּוּ". נִמְצֵאתָ לָמֵד שֶׁאִם שָׁגְגוּ בֵּית דִּין הַגָּדוֹל בְּהוֹרָאָה בַּעֲבוֹדָה זָרָה מְבִיאִין כָּל הַקָּהָל שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר פָּרִים עוֹלוֹת וּשְׁנֵים עָשָׂר שְׂעִירִים חַטָּאוֹת וְהֵם נִשְׂרָפוֹת שֶׁהֲרֵי דָּמָן נִכְנָס לְפָנִים וְהֵם הַנִּקְרָאִין שְׂעִירֵי עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה. וְאִם בִּשְׁאָר הַמִּצְוֹת שָׁגְגוּ מְבִיאִין שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר פָּרִים חַטָּאוֹת וְהֵן נִשְׂרָפוֹת מִפְּנֵי שֶׁדָּמָם נִכְנַס לְפָנִים. וְכָל פַּר מֵהֶן נִקְרָא פַּר הֶעְלֵם דָּבָר שֶׁל צִבּוּר שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ד יד) "וְהִקְרִיב הַקָּהָל" כָּל קָהָל וְקָהָל וְכָל שֵׁבֶט וְשֵׁבֶט קָרוּי קָהָל שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברי הימים ב כ ה) "וַיַּעֲמֹד יְהוֹשָׁפָט בִּקְהַל יְהוּדָה". בֵּין שֶׁעָשׂוּ כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁבְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל עַל פִּי בֵּית דִּין שֶׁהוֹרוּ בֵּין שֶׁעָשׂוּ רֹב יִשְׂרָאֵל אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן מִעוּט מִנְיַן הַשְּׁבָטִים. בֵּין שֶׁעָשׂוּ רֹב הַשְּׁבָטִים אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן מִעוּט כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל. מְבִיאִין כְּמִנְיַן כָּל הַשְּׁבָטִים פַּר לְכָל שֵׁבֶט וְשֵׁבֶט וּבַעֲבוֹדָה זָרָה פַּר וְשָׂעִיר לְכָל שֵׁבֶט וְשֵׁבֶט. שֶׁאַף אֵלּוּ שֶׁלֹּא חָטְאוּ מְבִיאִין עַל יְדֵי הַחוֹטְאִים. אֲפִלּוּ עָשָׂה שֵׁבֶט אֶחָד בִּלְבַד וְהוּא רֹב הַקָּהָל הֲרֵי כָּל הַצִּבּוּר מְבִיאִין שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר פָּרִים וּבַעֲבוֹדָה זָרָה שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר פָּרִים וּשְׁנֵים עָשָׂר שְׂעִירִים:

2

When the court is in doubt whether or not they ruled erroneously concerning a matter, they are not required to bring a provisional guilt-offering, as implied by Leviticus 4:14: "And the sin becomes known," i.e. only when the matter becomes known to them are they liable for a sacrifice, as will be explained.

When does the concept that the court is liable for a sacrifice and those who act upon their ruling are exempt apply? When the following conditions are met:

a) when those who deliver the ruling are the High Court of 71 judges;

b) when the head of the academy, participates in the ruling with them;

c) when they are all fit to deliver rulings;

d) when all - or the majority - of them err in the ruling they delivered;

e) that they rule explicitly and tell the people: "You are permitted to do this"; similarly those who heard from the court must have told others: "You are permitted to do this"; and the majority of the people or all of them must act because of their ruling;

f) those who commit the transgression must act in error because of them, thinking that the court ruled according to law;

g) they must rule to negate part of a commandment, but to preserve part of it, but not to displace the entire commandment; h) when they become aware of their error, they must know the precise matter concerning which they ruled erroneously.

When all of these conditions are met, the court is liable to bring a sacrifice and those who act upon their rulings are exempt. If, however, one of these conditions is not met, the court is exempt from the sacrifice and anyone who unknowingly performed a transgression must bring a fixed sin-offering for his inadvertent transgression.

ב

בֵּית דִּין שֶׁנִּסְתַּפֵּק לָהֶן אִם שָׁגְגוּ בְּהוֹרָאָה אוֹ לֹא שָׁגְגוּ אֵינָן חַיָּבִין בְּאָשָׁם תָּלוּי שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ד יד) "וְנוֹדְעָה הַחַטָּאת" עַד שֶׁתִּוָּדַע וְאַחַר כָּךְ יִתְחַיְּבוּ בְּקָרְבָּן כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים שֶׁבֵּית דִּין חַיָּבִין וְאֵלּוּ הָעוֹשִׂים עַל פִּיהֶם פְּטוּרִין מִן הַקָּרְבָּן. כְּשֶׁהָיוּ הַמּוֹרִים בֵּית דִּין הַגָּדוֹל שֶׁל שִׁבְעִים וְאֶחָד וְיִהְיֶה רֹאשׁ יְשִׁיבָה עִמָּהֶן בְּהוֹרָאָה וְיִהְיוּ כֻּלָּן רְאוּיִין לְהוֹרָאָה וְיִטְעוּ כֻּלָּן אוֹ רֻבָּן בְּדָבָר זֶה שֶׁהוֹרוּ בּוֹ וְיוֹרוּ בְּפֵרוּשׁ וְיֹאמְרוּ לָעָם מֻתָּרִין אַתֶּם לַעֲשׂוֹת. וְכֵן אֵלּוּ שֶׁשָּׁמְעוּ מִפִּי בֵּית דִּין אִם אָמְרוּ לַאֲחֵרִים מֻתָּרִים אַתֶּם לַעֲשׂוֹת וְיַעֲשׂוּ כָּל הַקָּהָל אוֹ רֻבּוֹ עַל פִּיהֶם וְיִהְיוּ הָעוֹשִׂים שׁוֹגְגִים עַל פִּיהֶם וּמְדַמִּים שֶׁהַדָּבָר שֶׁהוֹרוּ בּוֹ כַּדָּת הוֹרוּ. וְיוֹרוּ לְבַטֵּל מִקְצָת וּלְקַיֵּם מִקְצָת לֹא שֶׁיַּעַקְרוּ כָּל הַגּוּף וּכְשֶׁיִּוָּדַע לָהֶם יֵדְעוּ גּוּפוֹ שֶׁל דָּבָר שֶׁהוֹרוּ בּוֹ בִּשְׁגָגָה. בְּכָל אֵלּוּ הַמְאֹרָעִים הוּא שֶׁהָיוּ בֵּית דִּין חַיָּבִין בְּקָרְבָּן וְהָעוֹשֶׂה עַל פִּיהֶם פָּטוּר. אֲבָל אִם חָסֵר אַחַת מִכָּל אֵלּוּ הַדְּרָכִים הֲרֵי בֵּית דִּין פְּטוּרִין מִן הַקָּרְבָּן וְכָל מִי שֶׁשָּׁגַג וְעָשָׂה מַעֲשֶׂה מֵבִיא חַטָּאת קְבוּעָה עַל שִׁגְגָתוֹ:

Shegagot - Perek 13

1

What is meant by the statement that if one of the conditions mentioned the court will be exempt and the transgressors liable?

If the court of one of the tribes ruled that the fat of the stomach is permitted and the people of that locale ate it as a result of these statements, that court is exempt and all of those who partook of it must bring a fixed sin-offering for his inadvertent transgression.

Similarly, if the High Court ruled that the blood that collects in the heart is permitted, but the head of the academy was not with them one of them was not fit to be appointed to the Sanhedrin, e.g., he was a convert, a bastard, an old man, childless, or the like, and the people acted on their ruling and partook of the blood that collects in the heart, the court is exempt and all of those who partook of it must bring a fixed sin-offering for his inadvertent transgression.

What is the source that teaches that the verse is referring only to the High Court? Leviticus 4:13 states: "If the entire congregation of Israel shall inadvertently err...." What is the source that teaches that all must be fit to deliver rules? Numbers 15:40: "If the seers of the congregation....," i.e., you must regard them as seers, and Numbers 35:24 states:"And the congregation shall judge." Just as the term "congregation" used in reference to capital cases must be comprised entirely of judges fit to render judgment, so too, the term "congregation," used in reference to this inadvertent violation must be comprised only of judges fit to render judgment.

Similarly, if the court issued a ruling and one of them knew that they erred and protested: "You are making an error," but those who sought to permit the matter outnumbered him and permitted it, the court is exempt and all of those who acted on their ruling must bring a fixed sin-offering for his inadvertent transgression, as Leviticus, op. cit. states: "If the entire congregation of Israel shall inadvertently err...," i.e., the entire Sanhedrin.

If one or a lesser part of the Sanhedrin knew that those who sought to permit the matter erred, but he or they remained silent, since the ruling was issued, and there was no dissenting view, and the ruling was disseminated among the entire people, the court is liable and all of those who acted on their ruling are exempt. If those who remained silent act upon the court's ruling, they are liable for a sin-offering, because they did not rely on the court.

Similarly, if the court debated the issue and stated "This matter is permitted," but did not issue a ruling and did not explicitly tell them: "You are permitted to act in this manner," and a person heard their decision that the matter is permitted and went and acted according to what he heard, anyone who performs a transgression is liable for a fixed sin-offering, The court is exempt, for it did not issue a specific ruling to act.

Similarly, if they issued a ruling and the lesser portion of the congregation acted according to their ruling and the error became known, the court is exempt and the lesser portion of the people who acted upon their directive must bring a sin-offering.

א

כֵּיצַד אִם חָסֵר אַחַת מִכָּל הַדְּרָכִים שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ יִפָּטְרוּ בֵּית דִּין וְיִתְחַיְּבוּ הָעוֹשִׂים. הֲרֵי שֶׁהוֹרוּ בֵּית דִּין שֶׁל אֶחָד מִן הַשְּׁבָטִים לָהֶם שֶׁחֵלֶב הַקֵּיבָה מֻתָּר וַאֲכָלוּהוּ אַנְשֵׁי מְקוֹמָם עַל פִּיהֶם אוֹתוֹ בֵּית דִּין פְּטוּרִין וְכָל מִי שֶׁאָכַל מֵבִיא חַטָּאת קְבוּעָה עַל שִׁגְגַתוֹ. וְכֵן אִם הוֹרוּ בֵּית דִּין הַגָּדוֹל שֶׁדַּם הַלֵּב מֻתָּר וְלֹא הָיָה רֹאשׁ יְשִׁיבָה עִמָּהֶן אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה אֶחָד מֵהֶן אֵינוֹ רָאוּי לִהְיוֹת מְמֻנֶּה בְּסַנְהֶדְרִין כְּגוֹן שֶׁהָיָה גֵּר אוֹ מַמְזֵר אוֹ זָקֵן אוֹ שֶׁלֹּא רָאָה בָּנִים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן וְעָשׂוּ הָעָם עַל פִּיהֶם וְאָכְלוּ דַּם הַלֵּב הֲרֵי בֵּית דִּין פְּטוּרִין וְכָל מִי שֶׁאָכַל מֵבִיא חַטָּאת קְבוּעָה עַל שִׁגְגָתוֹ. וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁאֵין הַכָּתוּב מְדַבֵּר אֶלָּא בְּבֵית דִּין הַגָּדוֹל שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ד יג) "וְאִם כָּל עֲדַת יִשְׂרָאֵל יִשְׁגּוּ" וְגוֹ'. וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁעַד שֶׁיִּהְיוּ כֻּלָּן רְאוּיִין לְהוֹרָאָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר טו כד) "וְאִם מֵעֵינֵי הָעֵדָה" עַד שֶׁיִּהְיוּ לָהֶם כְּעֵינַיִם. וּלְהַלָּן הוּא אוֹמֵר (במדבר לה כד) "וְשָׁפְטוּ הָעֵדָה" מָה הָעֵדָה הָאֲמוּרָה בְּדִינֵי נְפָשׁוֹת כֻּלָּן רְאוּיִין לְהוֹרָאָה אַף עֵדָה הָאֲמוּרָה בִּשְׁגָגָה זוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּהְיוּ כֻּלָּן רְאוּיִין לְהוֹרָאָה. וְכֵן אִם הוֹרוּ וְיָדַע אֶחָד מֵהֶן שֶׁטָּעוּ וְאָמַר לָהֶם טוֹעִים אַתֶּם וְרַבּוּ עָלָיו הַמַּתִּירִים וְהִתִּירוּ. הֲרֵי בֵּית דִּין פְּטוּרִין וְכָל מִי שֶׁעָשָׂה עַל פִּיהֶם חַיָּב לְהָבִיא חַטָּאת קְבוּעָה עַל שִׁגְגָתוֹ. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְאִם כָּל עֲדַת יִשְׂרָאֵל יִשְׁגּוּ עַד שֶׁיִּשְׁגּוּ כָּל הַסַּנְהֶדְרִין. יָדַע אֶחָד מִן הַסַּנְהֶדְרִין אוֹ מִעוּטָן שֶׁטָּעוּ הַמַּתִּירִין וְשָׁתְקוּ הוֹאִיל וְהוֹרוּ וְלֹא הָיָה שָׁם חוֹלֵק וּפָשְׁטָה הַהוֹרָאָה בְּרֹב הַקָּהָל הֲרֵי בֵּית דִּין חַיָּבִין בְּקָרְבָּן וְכָל שֶׁעָשָׂה עַל פִּיהֶם פָּטוּר. וְאֵלּוּ שֶׁשָּׁתְקוּ אִם עָשׂוּ עַל פִּי אֵלּוּ שֶׁהוֹרוּ הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ חַיָּבִין מִפְּנֵי שֶׁלֹּא תָּלוּ בְּבֵית דִּין. וְכֵן אִם נָשְׂאוּ וְנָתְנוּ בַּדָּבָר וְאָמְרוּ דָּבָר זֶה מֻתָּר הוּא וְלֹא הוֹרוּ לָעָם וְלֹא אָמְרוּ לָהֶם מֻתָּרִין אַתֶּם לַעֲשׂוֹת וְשָׁמַע הַשּׁוֹמֵעַ מֵהֶן בְּעֵת שֶׁגָּמְרוּ מֻתָּר וְהָלַךְ וְעָשָׂה כְּפִי מַה שֶּׁשָּׁמַע הֲרֵי כָּל הָעוֹשֶׂה חַיָּב חַטָּאת קְבוּעָה וּבֵית דִּין פְּטוּרִין שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא הוֹרוּ לָהֶם בְּפֵרוּשׁ לַעֲשׂוֹת. וְכֵן אִם הוֹרוּ וְעָשׂוּ מִעוּט הַקָּהָל עַל פִּיהֶם וְנוֹדְעָה הַשְּׁגָגָה. הֲרֵי בֵּית דִּין פְּטוּרִין וְאֵלּוּ הַמִּעוּט שֶׁעָשׂוּ חַיָּבִין וְכָל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד מֵבִיא חַטָּאתוֹ:

2

When the members of the Sanhedrin themselves act according to their ruling they are not counted when determining if a majority followed their ruling. Instead, the majority must be comprised of others aside from the members of the Sanhedrin.

If the majority of the inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael acted according to the erroneous ruling even if the transgressors were only from one tribe, and, similarly, if the majority of the tribes acted according to the erroneous ruling even if they are the lesser portion of the congregation, the court is liable for this sacrifice and the transgressors are exempt.

What is implied? There were 600,001 inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael. Those who acted according to the ruling of the court were 300,001 and they were all members of the tribe of Judah alone - or they were members of seven tribes even if they numbered only 100,000 the court is liable for this sacrifice and the transgressors are exempt.

We are not concerned with the inhabitants of the Diaspora, for the term kahal ("congregation") applies only to the inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael. The tribes of Efraim and Menashe are not considered as two tribes in this context. Instead, they are counted as one tribe.

ב

וְהַסַּנְהֶדְרִין עַצְמָן שֶׁעָשׂוּ בְּהוֹרָאָתָן אֵינָן מִצְטָרְפִין לְרֹב הַקָּהָל. עַד שֶׁיִּהְיוּ הָרֹב שֶׁעָשׂוּ חוּץ מִן הַסַּנְהֶדְרִין. עָשׂוּ רֹב אַנְשֵׁי אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל עַל פִּיהֶם. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵלּוּ הָעוֹשִׂים שֵׁבֶט אֶחָד. וְכֵן אִם עָשׂוּ רֹב הַשְּׁבָטִים אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן מִעוּט הַקָּהָל. בֵּית דִּין חַיָּבִים וְהָעוֹשִׂין פְּטוּרִין. כֵּיצַד. הָיוּ יוֹשְׁבֵי אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל שֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת אֶלֶף וְאֶחָד. וְהָיוּ הָעוֹשִׂין בְּהוֹרָאַת בֵּית דִּין שְׁלֹשׁ מֵאוֹת אֶלֶף וְאֶחָד וַהֲרֵי כֻּלָּן בְּנֵי יְהוּדָה בִּלְבַד. אוֹ שֶׁהָיוּ הָעוֹשִׂים בְּנֵי שִׁבְעָה שְׁבָטִים כֻּלָּן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהֶן מֵאָה אֶלֶף. הֲרֵי בֵּית דִּין חַיָּבִין וְכָל הָעוֹשִׂים עַל פִּיהֶם פְּטוּרִין. וְאֵין מַשְׁגִּיחִין עַל יוֹשְׁבֵי חוּצָה לָאָרֶץ שֶׁאֵין קָרוּי קָהָל אֶלָּא בְּנֵי אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל. וְשֵׁבֶט מְנַשֶּׁה וְאֶפְרַיִם אֵינָן חֲשׁוּבִין כִּשְׁנֵי שְׁבָטִים לָעִנְיָן הַזֶּה אֶלָּא שְׁנֵיהֶם שֵׁבֶט אֶחָד:

3

If at the time the transgression was committed, the transgressors constituted the majority of the people, but at the time they became aware that a transgression had been committed, they were the lesser portion of the people, or they were the lesser portion at the time of the transgression, but the majority at the time they became aware, the ruling whether or not the court is required to bring a sacrifice depends on the proportion at the time of the transgression.

ג

הָיוּ הָעוֹשִׂים מְרֻבִּין בִּשְׁעַת הַחֵטְא וּמוּעָטִין בִּשְׁעַת יְדִיעָה. אוֹ מוּעָטִין בִּשְׁעַת הַחֵטְא וּמְרֻבִּין בִּשְׁעַת יְדִיעָה. הַכּל הוֹלֵךְ אַחַר שְׁעַת הַמַּעֲשֶׂה:

4

The people at large are exempt in the following instance. The court issued a ruling that one of the types of forbidden fat was permitted and the lesser portion of the congregation partook of it because of their ruling. They became aware that they sinned and retracted the ruling. Afterwards, they ruled that a particular form of worship of false deities was permitted and a lesser portion of the congregation performed that form of worship because of their ruling. If a majority of the congregation would be reached when the number of those who partook of the forbidden fat were added to the number were added to those who worshiped the false deity, the two numbers are combined and the people exempted even though the court became aware of their first error in the interim.

When does the above apply? When it was one court that delivered the rulings. If, however, the members of the court that issued the ruling died and another court arose and issued the second ruling, the two groups of transgressors are not combined.

ד

הוֹרוּ בֵּית דִּין בְּחֵלֶב מִן הַחֲלָבִים שֶׁהוּא מֻתָּר וְאָכַל מִעוּט הַקָּהָל עַל פִּיהֶם וְנוֹדַע לָהֶם שֶׁחָטְאוּ וְחָזְרוּ בָּהֶן. וְאַחַר כָּךְ הוֹרוּ שֶׁעֲבוֹדָה זָרָה פְּלוֹנִית מֻתֶּרֶת וְעָבַד אוֹתָהּ עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה מִעוּט אַחֵר עַל פִּיהֶם. וּכְשֶׁיִּצְטָרְפוּ הָאוֹכְלִים לָעוֹבְדִים יִהְיוּ רֹב. הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ מִצְטָרְפִין אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהָיְתָה לָהֶן יְדִיעָה בֵּינְתַיִם. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁהָיָה הַמּוֹרֶה בֵּית דִּין אֶחָד. אֲבָל אִם מֵת בֵּית דִּין שֶׁהוֹרָה תְּחִלָּה וְעָמַד אַחֵר וְהוֹרוּ אֵין אֵלּוּ מִצְטָרְפִין לְאֵלּוּ:

5

Even if two courts issued rulings concerning one matter, e.g., concerning two types of forbidden fat or two types of blood and similarly, if the transgressors did not inadvertently sin because of the ruling, the court is exempt and all of the transgressors are liable.

What is implied? The court ruled that it is permissible to partake of that fat of the stomach in its entirety. One of the members of the congregation knew that the court erred and that the fat of the stomach is prohibited. He, nevertheless, partook of the forbidden fat, because he thought that it was a mitzvah to listen to the court even though they erred. This person who partook of the fat is liable to bring a fixed sin-offering for partaking of it. He is not included among the number of those who transgressed inadvertently because of their ruling.

When does the above apply? When the person who knew the error was a sage or a student who had attained the knowledge that enables him to issue a ruling. If, however, he is a common person, he is exempt, because his knowledge regarding the Torah's prohibitions is not definitive. He is thus included among those who transgressed inadvertently because of their ruling.

Similarly, if one did not know that the court erred and intended to eat permitted fat, but instead ate the fat of the stomach which they erroneously permitted, but he did not know that it was the fat of the stomach, that individual is liable for an individual sin-offering. The rationale is that his eating came as a result of his own inadvertent error, not because of their ruling. He is not included in the number of those who transgressed inadvertently because of their ruling. These concepts are alluded to by Numbers 15:26;: "For the entire nation has erred unknowingly." Implied is that the entire nation committed the same error.

Similarly, if the person acted on his own initiative and partook of the fat of the stomach that the court ruled was permitted, not because of their ruling, but because he considered it as permitted, he is obligated to bring a fixed sin-offering individually.

This is the general principle: Whenever one relies on the court, he is exempt, provided all of the conditions that were mentioned were fulfilled. Anyone who is individually liable is not included when calculating whether a majority transgressed inadvertently.

ה

אֲפִלּוּ הוֹרוּ שְׁנֵי בָּתֵּי הַדִּינִים בְּדָבָר אֶחָד כְּגוֹן חֵלֶב וְחֵלֶב. אוֹ דָּם וְדָם. וְכֵן אִם לֹא הָיוּ הָעוֹשִׂים שׁוֹגְגִין עַל פִּי הַהוֹרָאָה. הֲרֵי בֵּית דִּין פְּטוּרִין וְכָל הָעוֹשִׂים חַיָּבִין. כֵּיצַד. הוֹרוּ בֵּית דִּין לֶאֱכל חֵלֶב הַקֵּבָה כֻּלּוֹ. וְיָדַע אֶחָד מִן הַקָּהָל שֶׁטָּעוּ וְשֶׁחֵלֶב הַקֵּבָה אָסוּר וְאָכְלוּ מִפְּנֵי הוֹרָאָתָן. שֶׁהָיָה עוֹלֶה עַל דַּעְתָּן שֶׁמִּצְוָה לִשְׁמֹעַ מִבֵּית דִּין אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵם טוֹעִים. הֲרֵי זֶה הָאוֹכֵל חַיָּב חַטָּאת קְבוּעָה עַל אֲכִילָתוֹ. וְאֵינוֹ מִצְטָרֵף לְמִנְיַן הַשּׁוֹגְגִים עַל פִּיהֶם. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁהָיָה זֶה שֶׁיָּדַע שֶׁטָּעוּ חָכָם אוֹ תַּלְמִיד שֶׁהִגִּיעַ לְהוֹרָאָה. אֲבָל אִם הָיָה עַם הָאָרֶץ הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר שֶׁאֵין יְדִיעָתוֹ בְּאִסּוּרִין יְדִיעָה וַדָּאִית וּמִצְטָרֵף לִכְלַל הַשּׁוֹגְגִים עַל פִּיהֶם. וְכֵן אִם לֹא יָדַע שֶׁטָּעוּ וְנִתְכַּוִּן לֶאֱכל שֻׁמָּן וְחֵלֶב וְאָכַל חֵלֶב הַקֵּבָה שֶׁהִתִּירוּהוּ וְהוּא לֹא יָדַע שֶׁהוּא חֵלֶב קֵבָה. הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֲכִילָתוֹ מִפְּנֵי שִׁגְגָתוֹ לֹא מִפְּנֵי הַהוֹרָאָה. וְאֵינוֹ מִצְטָרֵף לְמִנְיַן הַשּׁוֹגְגִים עַל פִּיהֶם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר טו כו) "לְכָל הָעָם בִּשְׁגָגָה". עַד שֶׁתִּהְיֶה שְׁגָגָה אַחַת לַכּל. וְכֵן אִם תָּלָה בְּעַצְמוֹ וְאָכַל חֵלֶב הַקֵּבָה שֶׁהוֹרוּ לְהַתִּירוֹ לֹא מִפְּנֵי הוֹרָאָתָן אֶלָּא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא מֻתָּר בְּדַעְתּוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב חַטָּאת קְבוּעָה בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ. זֶה הַכְּלָל כָּל הַתּוֹלֶה בְּבֵית דִּין פָּטוּר וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיוּ שָׁם כָּל הַדְּרָכִים שֶׁמָּנִינוּ. וְכָל הַחַיָּב בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ אֵינוֹ מִצְטָרֵף לְרֹב הַשּׁוֹגְגִים:

6

When the court intentionally ruled incorrectly and permitted something that is forbidden and the congregation erroneously acted on their ruling, the court is exempt from bringing a sacrifice, because they acted intentionally. Each of the people who acted upon their ruling is obligated to bring a sin-offering individually, because he transgressed inadvertently.

If the court delivered an erroneously ruling unknowingly and the congregation knew that they erred and that it is not correct to accept their ruling, and yet they acted in accordance with it, both the people and the court are exempt from bringing a sacrifice. The court is exempt, because the congregation did not act according to their erroneous ruling. And all the transgressors are exempt, because they are considered as having acted willfully, because they knew that the court erred and that it was not correct to act according to their ruling.

ו

הוֹרוּ בֵּית דִּין לְהַתִּיר דָּבָר הָאָסוּר בְּזָדוֹן וְעָשׂוּ הַקָּהָל עַל פִּיהֶם בִּשְׁגָגָה בֵּית דִּין פְּטוּרִין מִן הַקָּרְבָּן מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵן מְזִידִין. וְכָל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד מִן הָעוֹשִׂים עַל פִּיהֶם חַיָּב קָרְבָּן בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא שׁוֹגֵג. הוֹרוּ בֵּית דִּין בִּשְׁגָגָה וְיָדְעוּ הַקָּהָל שֶׁטָּעוּ וְשֶׁאֵין רָאוּי לְקַבֵּל מֵהֶן וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵּן עָשׂוּ הַקָּהָל עַל פִּיהֶם. אֵלּוּ וְאֵלּוּ פְּטוּרִין מִן הַקָּרְבָּן. בֵּית דִּין פְּטוּרִין שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא עָשׂוּ הַקָּהָל מִפְּנֵי הוֹרָאָתָן שֶׁהִטְעָתָם. וְכָל הָעוֹשִׂים פְּטוּרִין מִן הַקָּרְבָּן מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמְּזִידִין הֵם שֶׁהֲרֵי יָדְעוּ שֶׁטָּעוּ וְשֶׁאֵין רָאוּי לַעֲשׂוֹת:

Shegagot - Perek 14

1

When the court inadvertently err and rule to eliminate one of the Torah's fundamental laws and the entire people acted according to their ruling, the court is exempt and each of the transgressors is obligated to bring a fixed sin-offering, as implied by Leviticus 4:13: "And a matter will lapse...," i.e., a matter, but not an entire fundamental law.

א

בֵית דִּין שֶׁשָּׁגְגוּ וְהוֹרוּ לַעֲקֹר גּוּף מִגּוּפֵי תּוֹרָה וְעָשׂוּ כָּל הָעָם עַל פִּיהֶם בֵּית דִּין פְּטוּרִין וְכָל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד מִן הָעוֹשִׂים חַיָּב חַטָּאת קְבוּעָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ד יג) "וְנֶעְלַם דָּבָר" וְלֹא כָּל הַגּוּף:

2

The court is never liable for a sacrifice unless they issue a ruling, nullifying a certain aspect of a prohibition, but maintaining others regarding matters that are not explicitly stated and elaborated upon in the Torah. Only in such a situation will the court be obligated to bring a sacrifice and those who follow their ruling exempt.

What is implied? They erred and ruled that it is permitted to bow down to a false deity, that it is permitted to transfer an article from one domain to another on the Sabbath, or that it is permitted to be intimate with a woman who is watching day to day because of zivah bleeding. This is considered as one who stated that there is no prohibition in the Torah against performing labor on the Sabbath, worshiping false deities, or being intimate with a niddah, eliminating the entire prohibition. This is not considered as an erroneous ruling, but rather as forgetting the matter. Therefore the court is exempt from bringing a sacrifice and anyone who acted upon their ruling is liable for a sin-offering individually.

If, however, they erred and issued a ruling, saying that one who transfers an article from one domain to another is liable, as implied by Exodus 16:29: "A man should not depart from his place," but it is permitted for one to throw or pass an article from one domain to another - alternatively, they eliminated one of the primary categories of forbidden labor, ruling that it is not considered as forbidden labor - they are liable.

Similarly, they are liable if they erred and issued a ruling, saying that someone who prostrates himself, spreading out his hands and feet is liable, as ibid. 34:14 states: "Do not prostrate yourself to a foreign god," but it is permitted for one to kneel on the ground without spreading out his hands and feet.

Similarly, they are liable if they erred and issued a ruling, saying that one who is intimate with a woman who is watching day to day because of zivah bleeding, as implied by Leviticus 15:26 "all the days of her flow," but if she discovered bleeding at night, it is permitted to be intimate with her - alternatively, they issued a ruling, saying that one whose wife began to experience menstrual bleeding in the midst of intimacy is permitted to withdraw from her while erect.

Similarly, they are liable if they erred and stated that one is liable for partaking of blood which emerges from an animal at the time of ritual slaughter, but one who partakes of blood that collects in the heart is not liable. Similar laws apply with regard to all analogous errors. If they issued such rulings and the majority of the congregation acted because of their ruling, the people are exempt and the court must bring a sacrifice because of their error.

ב

לְעוֹלָם אֵין בֵּית דִּין חַיָּבִין עַד שֶׁיּוֹרוּ לְבַטֵּל מִקְצָת וּלְקַיֵּם מִקְצָת בִּדְבָרִים שֶׁאֵינָן מְפֹרָשִׁין בַּתּוֹרָה וּמְבֹאָרִים וְאַחַר כָּךְ יִהְיוּ בֵּית דִּין חַיָּבִין בְּקָרְבָּן וְהָעוֹשִׂים עַל פִּיהֶם פְּטוּרִין. כֵּיצַד. שָׁגְגוּ וְהוֹרוּ שֶׁמֻּתָּר לְהִשְׁתַּחֲווֹת לַעֲבוֹדָה זָרָה. אוֹ שֶׁמֻּתָּר לְהוֹצִיא מֵרְשׁוּת לִרְשׁוּת בְּשַׁבָּת. אוֹ שֶׁמֻּתָּר לָבוֹא עַל שׁוֹמֶרֶת יוֹם כְּנֶגֶד יוֹם. הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ כְּמִי שֶׁאָמְרוּ אֵין שַׁבָּת בַּתּוֹרָה אוֹ אֵין עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה בַּתּוֹרָה אוֹ אֵין נִדָּה בַּתּוֹרָה שֶׁעָקְרוּ כָּל הַגּוּף וְאֵין זוֹ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה שִׁגְגַת הוֹרָאָה אֶלָּא שִׁכְחָה. לְפִיכָךְ פְּטוּרִין מִן הַקָּרְבָּן וְכָל הָעוֹשֶׂה עַל פִּיהֶן חַיָּב חַטָּאת בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ. אֲבָל אִם טָעוּ וְהוֹרוּ וְאָמְרוּ הַמּוֹצִיא מֵרְשׁוּת לִרְשׁוּת הוּא שֶׁחָיַּב שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות טז כט) "אַל יֵצֵא אִישׁ מִמְּקֹמוֹ" אֲבָל הַזּוֹרֵק אוֹ הַמּוֹשִׁיט מֻתָּר. אוֹ שֶׁעָקְרוּ אָב מֵאֲבוֹת מְלָאכוֹת וְהוֹרוּ שֶׁאֵינָהּ מְלָאכָה. הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ חַיָּבִין. וְכֵן אִם טָעוּ וְאָמְרוּ הַמִּשְׁתַּחֲוֶה לַעֲבוֹדָה זָרָה בְּפִשּׁוּט יָדַיִם וְרַגְלַיִם הוּא הַחַיָּב שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בּוֹ (שמות לד יד) "לֹא תִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה לְאֵל אַחֵר" אֲבָל הַכּוֹרֵעַ עַל הָאָרֶץ וְלֹא פָּשַׁט יָדָיו וְרַגְלָיו הֲרֵי הוּא מֻתָּר הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ חַיָּבִין. וְכֵן אִם טָעוּ וְאָמְרוּ הַבָּא עַל שׁוֹמֶרֶת יוֹם כְּנֶגֶד יוֹם שֶׁרָאֲתָה דָּם בַּיּוֹם הוּא חַיָּב שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא טו כו) "כָּל יְמֵי זוֹבָהּ" אֲבָל רָאֲתָה בַּלַּיְלָה מֻתָּר לָבוֹא עָלֶיהָ. וְכֵן אִם הוֹרוּ וְאָמְרוּ שֶׁמִּי שֶׁפֵּרְשָׂה אִשְׁתּוֹ נִדָּה בִּשְׁעַת תַּשְׁמִישׁ מֻתָּר לִפְרשׁ מִמֶּנָּה כְּשֶׁהוּא מִתְקַשֶּׁה. הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ חַיָּבִין. וְכֵן אִם טָעוּ וְאָמְרוּ שֶׁהָאוֹכֵל דָּם שֶׁיָּצָא בִּשְׁעַת שְׁחִיטָה הוּא הַחַיָּב אֲבָל הָאוֹכֵל דַּם הַלֵּב מֻתָּר הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ חַיָּבִים. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בְּטָעֵיּוֹת אֵלּוּ אִם הוֹרוּ בָּהֶן וְעָשׂוּ רֹב הַקָּהָל עַל פִּיהֶן פְּטוּרִין וּבֵית דִּין מְבִיאִין קָרְבָּן עַל שִׁגְגָתָן:

3

If the court ruled that the Sabbath ended because the sun became covered with clouds and it appeared to have set, and then it shined forth again, this is not considered as a mistaken ruling, but as an error. Any individual who performed a forbidden labor as a result is obligated to bring a sin-offering, but the court is exempt.

Similarly, if the court granted a married woman license to remarry, because testimony was delivered in their presence that her husband had died and then her husband appeared this is not considered as a mistaken ruling, but as an error. The woman and her second husband are obligated to bring a sin-offering for their inadvertent transgression. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

ג

הוֹרוּ בֵּית דִּין שֶׁיָּצָא הַשַּׁבָּת לְפִי שֶׁנִּתְכַּסֵּית הַחַמָּה וְדִמּוּ שֶׁשָּׁקְעָה חַמָּה וְאַחַר כָּךְ זָרְחָה אֵין זוֹ הוֹרָאָה אֶלָּא טָעוּת וְכָל שֶׁעָשָׂה מְלָאכָה חַיָּב אֲבָל בֵּית דִּין פְּטוּרִין. וְכֵן אִם הִתִּירוּ בֵּית דִּין אֵשֶׁת אִישׁ לְהִנָּשֵׂא לְפִי שֶׁהֵעִידוּ בִּפְנֵיהֶם שֶׁמֵּת בַּעְלָהּ וְאַחַר כָּךְ בָּא בַּעְלָהּ אֵין זוֹ הוֹרָאָה אֶלָּא טָעוּת וְהָאִשָּׁה וּבַעְלָהּ הָאַחֲרוֹן חַיָּבִין חַטָּאת עַל שִׁגְגָתָן. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

4

When a court delivers an erroneous ruling and then forgot the nature of the prohibition concerning which they ruled, they are exempt and those who transgressed as a result of their ruling are liable. This applies even if they have definite knowledge that they erroneously caused the violation of a prohibition and even when the people inform them about their ruling, telling them: "You ruled concerning this-and-this." This is derived from Leviticus 4:14: "And the transgression which they caused to be violated became known to them," i.e., they became aware of it on their own, rather than being informed about it by the transgressors.

What is implied? The court erred and ruled that the fat on the stomach was permitted and the majority of the people partook of it. Afterwards, they became aware that they issued an erroneous ruling and permitted an entity for which one would be liable for karet had one partaken of it willfully or a fixed sin-offering if one partook of it inadvertently. They were in doubt, however, if they ruled that some forbidden fat was permitted or that some forbidden blood was permitted. In such a situation, the court is exempt and all those who partook of the forbidden fat must bring a fixed sin-offering.

ד

בֵּית דִּין שֶׁהוֹרוּ בִּשְׁגָגָה וְשָׁכְחוּ עַצְמוֹ שֶׁל חֵטְא שֶׁהוֹרוּ בּוֹ. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן יוֹדְעִים בְּוַדַּאי שֶׁחָטְאוּ בִּשְׁגָגָה וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהָעָם מוֹדִיעִין אוֹתָן וְאוֹמְרִים לָהֶן בְּכָךְ וְכָךְ הוֹרֵיתֶם לָנוּ. הֵם פְּטוּרִין וְהָעוֹשִׂים עַל פִּיהֶם חַיָּבִין בִּפְנֵי עַצְמָן. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ד יד) "וְנוֹדְעָה הַחַטָּאת אֲשֶׁר חָטְאוּ עָלֶיהָ" לֹא שֶׁיּוֹדִיעוּ אוֹתוֹ הַחוֹטְאִים. כֵּיצַד. שָׁגְגוּ וְהִתִּירוּ חֵלֶב שֶׁעַל גַּבֵּי הַקֵּבָה וַאֲכָלוּהוּ רֹב הָעָם וְאַחַר שֶׁיָּדְעוּ שֶׁשָּׁגוּ בְּהוֹרָאָה וְשֶׁהִתִּירוּ דָּבָר שֶׁחַיָּבִים עַל זְדוֹנוֹ כָּרֵת וְעַל שִׁגְגָתוֹ חַטָּאת קְבוּעָה נִסְתַּפֵּק לָהֶם אִם מִקְצָת הַחֲלָבִים הִתִּירוּ אוֹ מִקְצָת הַדָּמִים הִתִּירוּ הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ פְּטוּרִין וְכָל מִי שֶׁאָכַל מֵבִיא חַטָּאת קְבוּעָה:

5

The following rules apply when the court ruled erroneously and then became aware of their error. Whether they already brought a sacrifice as atonement or did not yet bring one, whenever one transgresses because of their erroneous ruling that was disseminated throughout the Jewish people after they became aware of their error, the transgressor must bring a provisional guilt-offering. The rationale is that since he should have continually inquired about the new developments in the court, but failed to do, he is considered like one who is in doubt whether he transgressed or not.

To whom does the above apply? To one who is in the same region as the court. If, however, one saw the initial, erroneous ruling and then journeyed to another region, he is exempt even if he transgressed after the court became aware of their error, because he relied upon them and cannot inquire about their rulings in his present place. Moreover, even if a person who is hurrying to depart, but has not yet set out on his journey, acts on their ruling after they became aware of their error, he is also exempt from bringing a provisional guilt-offering.

ה

בֵּית דִּין שֶׁהוֹרוּ בִּשְׁגָגָה וְנוֹדְעָה לָהֶם שִׁגְגָתָן בֵּין שֶׁהֵבִיאוּ כַּפָּרָתָן בֵּין שֶׁלֹּא הֵבִיאוּ כָּל הָעוֹשֶׂה כְּפִי הוֹרָאָתָן שֶׁפָּשְׁטָה בְּרֹב הַצִּבּוּר מֵאַחַר שֶׁיָּדְעוּ הֲרֵי זֶה מֵבִיא אָשָׁם תָּלוּי. הוֹאִיל וְהָיָה לוֹ לִשְׁאל בְּכָל עֵת עַל דְּבָרִים שֶׁנִּתְחַדְּשׁוּ בְּבֵית דִּין וְלֹא שָׁאַל הֲרֵי זֶה כְּמִי שֶׁנִּסְתַּפֵּק לוֹ אִם חָטָא אוֹ לֹא חָטָא. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּמִי שֶׁהָיָה עִם בֵּית דִּין בַּמְּדִינָה. אֲבָל מִי שֶׁרָאָה הַהוֹרָאָה וְהָלַךְ לִמְדִינָה אַחֶרֶת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעָשָׂה אַחַר שֶׁיָּדְעוּ פָּטוּר מִפְּנֵי שֶׁתָּלָה בָּהֶן וַהֲרֵי אִי אֶפְשָׁר לוֹ לִשְׁאל. וְלֹא עוֹד אֶלָּא הַנִּבְהָל לָצֵאת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא יָצָא לַדֶּרֶךְ וְעָשָׂה עַל פִּיהֶם מֵאַחַר שֶׁיָּדְעוּ הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר:

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The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in the one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
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